A worm was removed from an eye
The operation in progress Screenshot

If you're of a nervous disposition (or are eating a pesto dish), you should probably look away now.

Doctors in Peru have used basil to help coax a worm out of a boy's eye, after it took up residence for around a month.

The 17-year-old, who is known only as Jamie, went to National Children's Hospital in Lima, Peru after suffering from an extremely swollen left eye for several weeks.

After performing an MRI scan, shocked doctors discovered that a three-centimetre (one inch) worm-like larva was the culprit.

After making the unusual discovery, the team placed places basil leaves around Jamie's eye. For those brave souls interested, a stomach-churning video shows what happened next.

Others can remain (dis)content knowing that once the hungry larva poked its head out in search of the herb, doctors used tweezers to gently remove it.

Ophthalmologist Carolina Marchena, who carried out the procedure, said Jamie was probably infected after being bitten by a "Dermatobia hominis," or human botfly, which drops its eggs when it lands on skin.

Marchena said the operation was crucial, as the location of the larva could have spread infection to the brain.

"The location of the worm from the lower lid, which was getting bigger, made the risks increase because the youth's tissue was swelling in an area close to the sinuses that's close to the delicate part which is the triangle of death," she said.

Jamie is expected to make a full recovery and will not have any lasting (physical) damage.